The SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2 lineage has been recently been shown to predominate in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa, all of which experienced major outbreaks of COVID-19.
This variant of concern harbors mutations associated with increased transmissibility and neutralizing antibody resistance.
In a report published on Jan. 28, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) describe a preliminary analysis of 479 sequences from Gauteng, the country’s economic hub, indicating that the 501Y.V2 lineage first appeared in November and by December accounted for 84% (62/74) of sequences.
The Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng data suggests that 501Y.V2 lineage may be predominant throughout South Africa they conclude.
Through Jan. 31, South Africa has reported 1,453,761 total COVID-19 cases, including 44,164 deaths.